Loving on Our Surroundings



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DIY, happy

This week has been all about the house, about loving on our surroundings. I am trying to make our home a generally more pleasant place to be.

I have a love-hate relationship with our house. I love to hate on it.

Literally the only thing wrong with our house and our surroundings (for me) is that there is no front porch. And of course, there is no master bedroom on the main level.

But, literally everything else about this house is perfect. And it’s an emotional thing, too It was partly financed with inheritance from my grandparents. Pair that with the fact that we recently refinanced into a 2.25% 20-year fixed mortgage through Better.com. There is literally no reason to leave this house, ever really.

Which is why I will live with the fact that there is no front porch and that we have stairs. Plus, every little thing I hated about this house aesthetically, we have very nearly addressed. It has all taken over the past five years that we have lived here, but it has gotten done. It has taken the entirety of the five years to get our surroundings like I like it. It would be a crying shame to walk away from that now. We’d only to have to start the process all over again with another house.

Our Surroundings: The Kitchen

The kitchen has been a long work in progress. I went looking for a photo from before, but was unable to find one. I probably never took one. The kitchen was always unremarkable to me. Not enough counter space, or less than our old house at least. We’ve grown to be used to it, but for a long time we talked about closing up the door between the dining room and the kitchen. Then, we could have more counter space and more cabinet space. The cabinet space thing is slightly absurd, because to look at the kitchen it looks like it has plenty of cabinet space.

Ah, discontentment and first-world problems. A lot of gratitude exercises have adjusted my attitude toward our surroundings.

Our Surroundings: Hating on my Counters

But, I have longed for different countertops. Not so much for upgrade purposes. It just made no sense to me why the coffee bar had different counters than the kitchen. Of course, in my head when we upgraded we were always upgrading to something like granite, or something like that.

The counters in the kitchen were a gray-speckled laminate. The counter at the coffee bar was a tan laminate. Which made sense when the backsplash was tan like when we bought the house. It probably matched the original counters in the kitchen. The original backsplash in the kitchen was tan. I hated because it clashed with the counters. So, I painted over the backsplash right off, a couple of years ago.

For a year or so, I convinced myself that I could live with the counters. But about 4-5 months ago, I got a wild hair and decided to paint the coffee bar counters the same white paint as the cabinets and trim. It is a thick white indoor/outdoor paint from Lowe’s, here. I love this white paint and probably when we get ready to paint the outside of the house again, I will request this paint. It has been perfect for covering the dark wood trim we used to have.

And for the most part, the coffee bar stood up to the test of the painting over the past months. I have spilled coffee grounds and coffee and water all over it and in general been messy. It cleans up really well. However, I never sealed it.

Our Surroundings: Painting and Sealing the Kitchen Counters

Finally, I got bored with a surge of energy this past week. I decided I wanted to experiment with painting the kitchen counters. The actual painting was a painless process, with the exception of getting a little paint on one of my jumpsuits. We already had the paint and rollers on hand, so I didn’t even have to go to the store.

However, I knew we’d knock things all over the surface in addition to spills. So, I knew not sealing the kitchen was not an option. For $26 and some change including tax, I sent Jared to pick up this after I ordered it online from Lowe’s: Famowood Glaze Coat.

I did not follow the directions on the Famowood Glaze Coat. It called for pouring within 20 minutes, and not thicker than 1/8 inch. Frankly, I was terrified of the idea of spilling glaze all over my floors and everything. I didn’t even contemplate doing it that way. I pulled out a fresh roller and cleaned the lint off of it as best I could, and went to town on the counters with it that way.

Our Surroundings: The Finished Project

This whole project was done Monday. It is Saturday as I write this post. Parts of the counters are still tacky. I am not that surprised, but I really don’t want to rush putting things back early and ruining the job. It’s almost done and I might be able to use some of the surfaces tomorrow. The last part that has the worst tackiness, we can save for putting back together later.

I am happy with how this project turned out. I will probably sand behind the sink because there are some very obvious drip lines where I applied the glaze way too thick and it ran. Otherwise, I actually like the bumpy pattern the roller created. I am so happy with it that as long as the counters hold up, I will not be in a rush to replace them at all.

So YAY! for a cheap project that looks pretty good if I do say so myself.

our surroudings-- our kitchen

Our Surroundings: The Dining Room

Yesterday night while Porter and Jared were at the football game, I got a wild hair. I decided to follow through with what my friend Dena suggested and decorate the dining room a little more. I really like the photos I got from my recent new flatlay backdrops playtime. They matched the color theme of the centerpiece of the dining table. So, I ordered three prints of them to be with our surroundings in the dining room. One of the prints now lives in the family room, but two of the prints, along with the print of my wedding dress with some of the props, is in the dining room. I am pleased:

our surroundings-- our dining room
our surroundings-- our dining room
our surroundings-- our dining room

Last night, I also played a sort of musical wall-hangings (sort of like musical chairs). I moved hangings from the office to the family room, from the family room up to the master bedroom. There is a little more sense to the organization of our decor now.

All in all, it has been a good week.




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